A Concise Dictionary of First Names

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Oxford University Press, 1997 - Names, English - 308 pages
Here is the ultimate first name handbook, a delightfully informative, comprehensive survey of over 6,000 names in regular use in the English-speaking world, from the traditional to the newest and unconventional names of the nineties. This Revised Edition also offers new appendices listing common Arabic, Russian, Indian, French, German, Italian, and Spanish first names. An authoritative reference, no other handbook provides a fraction of the information found here.
Typical entries list the linguistic and ethnic root of a name. "Jennifer," for instance, is a Cornish form of "Guinevere," which in turn is the French version of a Welsh name combining gwen, white, fair, smooth, and hwyfar, smooth, soft. However, the real charm and value of this reference lies in the wealth of fascinating additional information the authors provide. Entries discuss the age, origin, and history of individual names, together with any historical or cultural associations, as well as tracing the popularity of names through time. Most listings also include the non-English form or cognate of a name, and diminutives and pet forms. European names which have become established in English are covered and pronunciation guidance is provided for difficult or unusual names.
A Concise Dictionary of First Names, Revised Edition is a highly accessible reference which offers a goldmine of curious facts to delight browsers of every age as well as a wealth of inspiration for prospective parents.

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User Review  - librisissimo - LibraryThing

Best of the baby name books; the most comprehensive and scholarly publication I know as of 2001. Read full review

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About the author (1997)

About the Authors:
Patrick Hanks is Chief Editor for Current English Dictionaries at Oxford University Press and co-author, with Hodges, of A Dictionary of Surnames. Flavia Hodges is a philologist, lexicographer, and publisher.

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